Practically everyone makes this mistake. I used to make it myself, which may be why it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me.
We’re talking about where to put the word “obviously” in a sentence when you’re expressing disappointment. As press secretary for the Ohio Attorney General, I had many, many occasions to use this construction. Any time a court decision didn’t go our way? “We are obviously disappointed.”
- Texas A&M is “obviously disappointed” to have their first game canceled.
- St. Mary’s basketball team is “obviously disappointed” to lose to Loyola.
- David Beckham gets it right and wrong in the span of 30 seconds.
So what’s wrong with “obviously disappointed?” What you’re essentially saying is your disappointment is obvious. That you’re wailing on a street corner rending your garments and pulling out your hair.
The simple fix? Move “obviously” to the front: “Obviously, we’re disappointed.” Meaning, it should be plainly obvious since we fought so hard for victory that this slap in the face comes as a disappointment.
What is not so obvious is why this bugs me so much. It just does. We all have our peeves.